The record for the most expensive .com.au domain name was broken today after the owner of investmentproperty.com.au let the name expire and it was snapped up at auction for $125,000.
Mark Lye, CEO of Netfleet, the domain name aftermarket where the name was sold, said the final price was “quite exceptional” but the previous owners who let it expire would be “kicking themselves”.
“It’s a schoolboy error really for a domain of that value to not renew it in time,” he said.
“For whatever reason they might not have got their renewal notices via email. Registrars will send out renewal notices on domains – 90 days before it expires, then 60, then 30; people may procrastinate and put it off and not renew it, maybe forget about it, and then the domain expires and then they’ve lost it. “
The buyer of investmentproperty.com.au is Hunter Valley property developer Vision Homes. Comment is being sought from the owner Steve Rollan.
Anthony Ziino, the previous owner who let the domain name expire, did not know the name had expired when reached by phone but said he was going to investigate.
The next highest public .com.au sale was hardware.com.au, bought by Woolworths late last year for $33,000.
But private sales, while difficult to track and verify, are often much higher. The highest on record is flowers.com.au, which sold for $153,000.
But the .com.au records pale in comparison with .com domain sales. Sex.com is the most expensive domain name globally and sold in November last year for $US13 million.
Domain name industry players on the DNTrade.com.au forum predicted investmentproperty.com.au would sell for $10,000, so the final price of $125,000 blew away their expectations.
Lye said those who don’t invest in domain names professionally often drove the higher prices as they commonly had their eye on a particular name for some time and were emotionally attached to it. Companies see it as a marketing expense.
“In terms of marketing to spend $10-, $20- or $30,000 on a domain name is not that huge compared to the rest of the costs of marketing their business,” he said.
“People are just beginning to realise that domain names are valuable and in this day and age it’s essential for pretty much all businesses to be online.
“One of the ways to get to the top quickly is with a good domain name. As more domains are registered, supply is limited so it generally commands higher prices.”
The Australian domain name industry has been in the news this week due to a dispute over mirandakerr.com.au and death threats being made against a prominent industry player.